Proving that the only figures that count are the ones on the timekeeper’s stopwatch, three-time Olympic gold medalist Leisel Jones has qualified for the final of the 100m breaststroke. In doing so Jones has done a pretty good job at silencing her detractors who last week questioned the swimmer’s commitment to the sport and labelled her fourth consecutive Olympics ‘a farewell tour‘ after unflattering photos of Jones made front page news.
Having first swum at the Games as a incredibly talented tween at 14 years of age in 2000, Jones is now one swim away from further cementing her status as one of Australia’s greatest swimmers after she qualified fifth fastest for tomorrow morning’s (5.15am AEST) final at 1:06:81 behind first place qualifier Ruta Meilutyte of Lithuania’s 1:05:21.
Speaking after the race, Jones addressed the criticism surrounding her physical and mental fitness, saying “I’m pretty confident. I have been around this game for about 12 years so I’m not shocked by anything. I mean, I guess it’s pretty hurtful coming from your own country, people making comments like that, but look – I’m here to swim. I swim in the pool, I don’t swim in the papers, so I’m here to do my job and I know what my job is and I hope to do it very well and to make Australia proud.“
Jones also said she turned the criticism into motivation and even went as far as to thank “the journalist who decided to write not-so-nice comments about me, because you have never made me feel so loved in my life. So thank you.”
“It’s the best thing that could have ever happen to me. I couldn’t ask for anything more. So I am one of those people who you put me under pressure and I will show you what I can do. I did one of my best sessions ever after I read the comments. I have had nothing but support and I think that has probably touched me the most and that was probably what made me the most impressed.“
If that’s what it takes to spur Leisel to gold, go forth and troll! Troll like you’ve never trolled before!*
Here’s some vintage Leisel. Whattachamp.
Via The SMH
Photos by Clive Rose and Francois Xavier Marit
*Kidding. Please, don’t do that.